In this week’s episode, Podcast Host, Property Manager & Business Owner, Andrew Schultz, chats about what to do when you unexpectedly find a pet that your tenant snuck into the rental when your lease specifically says no pets.
Should tenants pay the utility bills or should a landlord? It depends. Find out what to do when your tenant forgets to pay the rental utility bills.
Last, but not least, we’ll tell you how collection agencies work with landlords to get any unpaid rent and more! Listen to the latest podcast today.
Andrew Schultz (00:00:01):
Hi everyone. Welcome to the August. Ask me anything session August, 2023. Ask me anything session here with rent prep. I’m Andrew Schultz, community manager here at Rent Prep. I’m also a licensed real estate broker here in the state of New York with over 14 years of experience in the property management and rental property industries. I have with me today, a couple of guests, actually, we’re gonna go ahead and add Josh to the stream. You guys probably recognize Josh because he is been on a few of these with me at this point. Josh, how are you today?
Josh Ungaro (00:00:27):
I am good, Andrew, how are you?
Andrew Schultz (00:00:29):
Not doing too bad. Josh is our marketing manager over at Rent Prep, and we also have a second guest we’re gonna add in today. This is Carlos. Carlos is the business development manager over at Rent Prep. If you get to a point where you’re working on anything on the enterprise side of the house, which is typically when I call rent prep, Carlos is usually one of the people that I speak to. So Carlos does a lot more on the business enterprise side of things versus the smaller landlords. I guess I, is that the best way to describe it, Carlos? Yeah.
Carlos Hennings (00:00:58):
Yeah, that’s the best way to describe it. The enterprise side is typically gonna be 50 plus doors. So I, I kind of subvert myself into that part of the of the business, but I also have knowledge on the rent prep side itself.
Andrew Schultz (00:01:09):
There you go. And how are you doing today?
Carlos Hennings (00:01:11):
I’m doing great. It’s, it’s a, it’s a good Monday. I had the the Starbucks in me and I’m ready to go. <Laugh> <laugh>.
Andrew Schultz (00:01:18):
Well, we’ve got a ton of great questions today. Yeah. We have a ton of questions today. Actually. I was going through the list earlier and it looks pretty good. I think that we have a lot of good questions to pull
Josh Ungaro (00:01:28):
From today. It’s the most, definitely the most we’ve gotten in, in a few months here, so, nice. Should
Andrew Schultz (00:01:33):
Be good’s. Not a bad thing. That’s not a bad thing, though. It keeps us busy. You never want to be struggling for que Actually, I shouldn’t even say that. We’ve never had one of these events where we’ve been looking No. For questions. At the end of it, we always have more questions than we have time at the end of this <laugh>. When, when all is said and done,
Josh Ungaro (00:01:50):
We, we also normally have a lot to say about all the questions. So,
Andrew Schultz (00:01:54):
<Laugh> Yeah. We’re, we’re, I mean, I’m especially very long-winded. Somebody’s gotta reign me in
Josh Ungaro (00:01:58):
<Laugh>. Yeah. Well, I’m excited. It’s, it’s nice that we’ve got the three amigos here. We haven’t had, that’s pretty exciting, I think since maybe Katie mm-hmm. <Affirmative> Katie was the last our senior screener Katie, bro. It was the last time we had three people on, but sometimes No, I, I like you Andrew, but <laugh> just the two of the two of us here. Sometimes we gotta, we gotta throw, throw a wrench into the mix. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, and I know Carlos is gonna be able to be able to contribute to that. There’s,
Andrew Schultz (00:02:26):
I know there’s some screening questions in here as well, which I’m sure Carlos will be able to offer a lot of insight on. But like, even like I call Carlos, I called Carlos last week because I got a, actually, we’re gonna put a video out on it. And that video’s gonna be really good. I’m really happy with how that one came out. But like, I called Carlos last week because I had a pay stub that I was relatively certain was fake based on what I was seeing. I looked at it, another staff member here in the office looked at it, and between the two of us, we said, all right, I think this is fake. And then we went to Carlos to see what do you guys think? Because you see a lot more of these pay stubs than we do. And I know it’s not necessarily within the scope of what rent Prep does, is determining whether a a pay stub is fake or real. But I like to pass stuff like that along because it helps keep all of our skillset sharp.
Josh Ungaro (00:03:12):
Sure, sure. For sure.
Carlos Hennings (00:03:14):
Yeah. It’s it’s, it’s becoming more and more prevalent and you know, again, this is why it’s important to look for other, you know, other tools out there that that, that, you know, you can take advantage of to, to get better insight versus, you know, again, taking taking something like that and guessing, you know, whether or not it is a valid or not. So, but there are, there are tools available. Yeah.
Andrew Schultz (00:03:35):
And as the technology gets, as, as the technology to fake pay stubs gets better and better and better, or any documentation doesn’t even have to be pay stubs. We’ve talked about credit reports in the past too, as the technology to fake things gets better, your defense has to be as good as their offense. Sure. and a lot of landlords, I think are gonna get caught in a situation where they don’t realize that this is out there and it’s happening. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So hopefully they wisen up a little bit and realize what they’re, what they’re actually dealing with. And I, I think that there are gonna be some landlords that get caught with some of these fake pay stubs, because some of these things are so legit looking. Like that one that I sent you, Carlos, like, I spent several minutes looking at that before I found enough red flags to lead me to think, all right, I need to, I think this is fake. I wanna send it to Carlos to look at mm-hmm. <Affirmative>.
Josh Ungaro (00:04:21):
Well, and you’re, you’re an experienced property manager. Like Yeah,
Andrew Schultz (00:04:24):
Josh Ungaro (00:04:25):
Andrew Schultz (00:04:26):
A year for,
Josh Ungaro (00:04:26):
For the newcomers and the, the newer landlords, new properties, someone just, you know, jumping in the game. Like there’s, there’s definitely gonna be a, a little bit of a learning curve.
Andrew Schultz (00:04:36):
Yeah, definitely. Well, and I know that video will be out in a couple weeks. I just went to the editor, but I encourage everybody to watch that. ’cause We actually go through three different, four different pay stubs and show like, some of the red flags that we find as we’re going through. Some of ’em are obvious, some of them not so much. But it’s definitely gonna be worthwhile to, to take a look at that when it when it comes out in a couple weeks. So, Josh, you wanna start us off with a question? I believe you have the, the big list in front of you.
Josh Ungaro (00:05:03):
Yes. I’m gonna, I’m gonna start right away with this question from Sharon. Sharon. S my tenant has very poor hygiene between not bathing or washing his clothes. The house has a horrible smell on the upstairs tenant complains to me about the odor. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, how do I handle this delicate situation?
Carlos Hennings (00:05:23):
Andrew Schultz (00:05:23):
So our lease actually addresses housekeeping. It’s written right into our lease that good housekeeping is expected of everyone and that there shouldn’t be, you know, noxious odors and things like that coming out of your apartment. It’s basically a situation where you start with a lease violation notice and you kind of have to ratchet things up depending on whether or not the tenant is doing what they need to do to rectify the situation. Like, we’ve had situations where we had a hoarder in one of our buildings that we took over from another property management company and it started as, okay, we’re gonna send a lease violation that you need to start cleaning up this property. Or, you know, give us a plan, start, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it eventually escalated to the point where we did wind up having to evict that tenant because they were just downright refusing to deal with any of the issues as a result of hoarding. And I mean, there were hygiene issues on top of all of the other issues, but when you start talking about hoarding and things like that, you can be adding a ton of weight to the property. Yeah. Tons of weight to the property, which can have structural issue concerns. And
Josh Ungaro (00:06:29):
Andrew Schultz (00:06:30):
Giant stack of newspapers in a, in a, in, in the center of a room where there’s the least amount of support, it’s gonna be an issue. There’s no way around it.
Josh Ungaro (00:06:38):
How does hoarding work? Because isn’t hoarding technically, isn’t it technically classified as like a mental, could it be disability classified as a mental disability or an illness?
Andrew Schultz (00:06:49):
It can, I think so. Does that is technically considered a mental illness hoarding now? I’d have to look into it more to know for sure. I, I mean we, it’s not like we just went from here’s your lease violation notice to Okay, we’re sending you to eviction court. Like, there was a process by which we were trying to work with this tenant, trying to work with the tenant’s family because they understood the situation, trying to get help from outside agencies, whether it be Department of Social Services, they’re not really geared towards mental health. But there are a couple agencies here in Western New York that are more geared toward that. And we were just striking out everywhere we were going. The, the tenant had no interest in getting to a point where they were compliant than anything. And ultimately we did have to, we did have to evict that tenant. We had to ask them to leave.
Josh Ungaro (00:07:32):
Yeah. I wonder that’ll look in the future with, yeah.
Carlos Hennings (00:07:36):
I dunno. Andrew is there, I’m concerned with the question with Sharon, like she, she specifically support hygiene. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> is hygiene one thing and keeping the property in order another, you know, I, I can, I almost feel like this individual is keeping, maybe keeping the property in order, but just like them themselves are not bathing and them themselves are not taking care of, you know, what they need to be personally. You know what I mean? In a situation like that, I mean, there’s really, is there really anything you can do about that? That person just stinks.
Andrew Schultz (00:08:07):
That’s a good question. To be honest with you. I mean, it’s in our lease, we do have good hygiene as is expected of everyone. So if it’s getting to a point where the individual’s odor is overpowering the over, you know, the total error in the, in the unit or in the building, like if you is obviously a multi-family. So if you have someone that is walking through a common area to get to their apartment and they can smell someone else inside their apartment, we experience it every single day. The most common thing that you smell when you walk into the common area of an apartment building is pot. Like, it’s not uncommon to walk into any building and, and smell that somebody just fired one up. And like, that’s kind of the same thing. Like if it’s somebody that we know is smoking in their apartment, we would send them a lease violation notice just the same way due to the noxious odor and this and that and the other thing. Gotcha. So I guess I would probably approach this from the same standpoint. I would send a, a standard lease violation letter. Our lease actually has that in it as far as good housekeeping. So we actually would take their lease and, and tell them reference the section in the lease that they’re in violation of and that we give ’em a period of time to clear it up.
Carlos Hennings (00:09:17):
Gotcha. Yeah. That’s a tough one. Alright. Yeah. Does that apply for like, for like food too?
Andrew Schultz (00:09:22):
Carlos Hennings (00:09:23):
Do you mean? You know, when, when I cook up a really nice pasta and I have that bad boy simmering for a good four or five hours. Sure. I got some nice Italian meats in there. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> that aroma nice Italian. Oh, it could get pretty strong. I bet. Get, have you ever had lot of
Andrew Schultz (00:09:39):
Actually, you know what, Josh, can you find the question? There was a question I think about foods
Josh Ungaro (00:09:43):
I, I was just about to bring up. I don’t know if I included it on there, but I think it’s, I wanna say it was about,
Andrew Schultz (00:09:51):
If you could find,
Josh Ungaro (00:09:52):
Say it was about spices and mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and curry, curry spices was, was the question. And I I was just gonna say, can you even in a, in a split unit or a multi-unit, can you even have, have rules in your lease about what people can cook?
Andrew Schultz (00:10:12):
No, definitely not. You can’t tell somebody you can’t cook here <laugh>.
Josh Ungaro (00:10:16):
Yeah. That, that’s what I mean. I, where is this question? I, I
Andrew Schultz (00:10:20):
Grew up, I pulled up on screen,
Josh Ungaro (00:10:22):
Andrew Schultz (00:10:22):
I’ll read it out. Does Curry, does the curries cooking smell fade over time? Anyone have experience with this? We have a house rented to a family that cooks with a lot of curry and the kitchen unfortunately doesn’t have a vent fan. Does the curry smell fade quickly over time after someone moves out? I have a lot of experience with this exact situation because we used to have a lot of rental property near one of the ca college campuses, and we rented to a lot of international students from India who tend to cook with a lot of spices and heavy curries and things like that. And no, the curry smell does not fade over time. Essentially what happens is the scent molecule is binding to whatever oil they’re cooking in. And as they’re cooking, obviously the oil aerosolizes a little bit and it gets pretty much everywhere.
Andrew Schultz (00:11:06):
So the only way to get rid of a smell like that is to physically clean and remove the oil droplets, which are probably 90% of the smell that you’re experiencing. And then either you may have to paint if it’s at a situation where you can’t get the smell out of walls or something like that. The other thing that we’ve had a lot of good experiences with is running an ozone generator to take smells out of an apartment. But the ozone generator is only gonna go so far if you haven’t dealt with the root cause, which is the, you know, the oil based, the oil with the curry aroma
Andrew Schultz (00:11:44):
In it, I guess whatever you wanna say, unless you deal with the root cause, you’re never gonna get rid of the smell. So you have to deal with the root issue first before anything else is gonna actually work. So, and this was a constant struggle with us. We had a lot of apartments that I feel like probably would permanently have a, an odor, like an odor of curry in them just from the amount of cooking that was done in them over the years and things of that nature. And eventually, yeah, it’s going to start to, you know, impregnate itself in any sort of finish, whether it be paint on walls, whether it be the cabinets, whether it be soft goods, textiles, things of that nature. It does eventually start to settle and it gets harder and harder to get rid of. So yeah, you definitely can’t tell someone no, you can’t cook. We actually had somebody request no a property owner request no cooking a fish in their building. And we told them flat out, that’s not even remotely going to happen. And it’s kind of silly that you kind of silly that you would come to us. Oh
Josh Ungaro (00:12:43):
Andrew Schultz (00:12:46):
Yeah. Carlos, answer your question there. ’cause You’d asked a question and I kind of went on a ramble.
Carlos Hennings (00:12:51):
No, no, you, you answered it. That’s, I think I think we’re good to go on that.
Andrew Schultz (00:12:55):
All right, cool. Yeah, there’s a lot to that. Yeah.
Josh Ungaro (00:12:58):
All right. Let’s jump to, let’s do a Facebook question. Okay. Let’s do question from Marcia. When I do a preliminary application, I collect information from the person and just verify where they work, et cetera. Does rent prep application do it in depth of proof? Does rent prep application do it in depth of proof of employment and income earned? Or do I ask for that proof myself? Thanks.
Andrew Schultz (00:13:31):
Sounds like a Carlos question.
Josh Ungaro (00:13:32):
Carlos Hennings (00:13:33):
Yeah. So we used to offer a product a few years back, which was the resident employment verification calls. The reason why we pulled that from our product lineup for our rent prep clients was because of the, I guess you could say the the end result wasn’t what we were, what we anticipated. And as time went on and things like the work number started to require subscriptions, it just didn’t, it, it wasn’t making sense. So, you know, to answer your question Marsha would be, you know, I would certainly utilize the, again, the income verification report. It is available through rep rep it’s $10. What that’s gonna do is that’s gonna give you an immediate idea of the what, what the deposits are coming into the accounts. But more importantly, it’s gonna give you an idea of what they currently have available.
Carlos Hennings (00:14:22):
That makes a really big difference. If somebody has a hundred dollars to their name, they could be employed, they could have a perfect credit score, no derogatory remarks, but the problem is, if that person loses their job or whatever the case may be, they got a hundred dollars to their name, that’s gonna change things. So you know, for proof of employment, you know, there’s a lot of different ways you could try and make a phone call. I don’t know how much information you’re, you’re gonna get beside yes, they might work here maybe. But at the end of the day, the Inc verification report’s able to scrub the, the accounts identify recurring payments and you can typically tie that into their employment. So that would probably be the best bet.
Andrew Schultz (00:15:00):
The nice thing is that report also gives you their average balance in their, in their bank accounts as well. So if somebody say, just came into a big pile of cash a month ago, that’s not going to be reflective in their average because they’re only have one month with that high balance. Right. If they were running a negative balance for 11 months, an average, you know, an average negative balance for 11 months, and then suddenly they have one month where they have, say, $50,000 in their bank account, you’re gonna see the $50,000 on the report as current holdings. But the average is going to show that, hey, this is not somebody that appears to be real financially stable. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So, sure. That’s a, that’s a nice product and I, I encourage people to start using that and we need to start using it more at own Buffalo, to be honest with you.
Carlos Hennings (00:15:44):
Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s a really great product. You know, I’ve had people ask me, you know, we can, we can understand the past, but do you guys have a tool that kind of can predict the future? And I said, yes. Mm-Hmm. Yes, we do. And it’s not a crystal ball, it’s the verification report <laugh>. So it gives you an idea of what possibly what, where the cushion is with with an applicant’s mm-hmm. If they do come upon hard times. And, and keep in mind though, with this report, you’re not gonna see what they spend their money on. This is strictly deposits. And that’s another, another big factor that, that, you know we get as far as phone calls go is, you know, I’m not seeing anything that they spend their money on, you’re not going to see that it’s only deposits.
Carlos Hennings (00:16:20):
So it’s up to the last 12 months, you’re gonna see things, you know, like, you know, it could be child support, you know, grandma and grandpa’s a hundred dollars birthday check mm-hmm. <Affirmative> whatever deposits were made into that account. The other nice thing is about the product is that the applicant will have the, the choice to, to link up more than one bank account. So if they have a savings and a checking and they wanna show you both accounts mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, they’ll have that ability to do so. They’re able to see the report prior to submitting it so that if there are any discrepancies or something’s not appearing, they’ll have the ability to at least comment on that. And then from there, that, that opens up conversations, but they will not have the ability to manipulate the report. And this is what makes this thing so effective is that, again, it’s being generated through the bank, the applicant’s seeing it, they can comment, but at the end of the day, the final report’s being sent back to the end user mm-hmm. <Affirmative> landlord and so on. And then, you know, that way again, you know that it has, it’s been handled properly.
Andrew Schultz (00:17:18):
Well, and it’s, it’s interesting because I know another property manager, they’re not in New York, they’re in Georgia. And I won’t say anything more than that ’cause it would be pretty easy to figure out who I’m talking about. But they will only look at applications where someone has gone through and done the income verification. They won’t look at paper pay stubs, period, end of discussion anymore. I don’t think that Georgia has some of the same laws that we have here in New York with regards to like lawful source of income protection, section eight vouchers, d s s assistance, things like that. Which I think probably would factor into his decision to only take the automated income verification reports versus just pay stubs. But I think that it’s going to become trickier and trickier to really verify, unless you’re using a product like what the income verification report is, I think it’s gonna become harder and harder to really truly know what someone is doing with their financial picture.
Andrew Schultz (00:18:18):
Sure. I think the biggest issue is like if you have tenants that are unbanked like lower end units where they don’t have bank accounts and things of that nature, that’s gonna be a real struggle because there’s nothing to verify if there’s no bank account for them to tie to. So Sure. In that situation, you basically, now you’re stuck relying on paperwork that may or may not be falsified. So that’s a tough one. Right? It is. And I agree. The income verification calls, we used to use rent prep for income verification calls as well as landlord verification calls. And just like you said, Carlos, it was very, very tough to get any sort of a response. Most employers won’t even verify that someone is or is not a current employee anymore. So you’re burning a bunch of daylight waiting for that to come back and then never getting a response. And then on the landlord side of things, we found that a lot of landlords just either they won’t respond or they will flat out lie to get rid of a bad tenant, and that’s not doing you any good. They’re giving you subjective rather than objective information. Exactly. And I think that anytime you can take subjectivity out of a process and make it just about the data mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that’s the best possible scenario for you. So. Agreed.
Josh Ungaro (00:19:29):
Absolutely. Cool. All right. Let’s let’s move on here. I’ve got another Facebook question from Kim. Kim asked, my lease says, any repairs under $300 are at tenant’s responsibility, but it would seem air conditioning repair even if under $300 would be mine. How do you handle air conditioning repair bills? Also, if they can’t get AC and AC tech out on Sunday? Does renter’s insurance pay for a hotel and she is in Florida? It’s very hot. She says
Andrew Schultz (00:20:12):
So sorry, I’m trying to find, I’ve got the, the question list up here, and I’m trying to scroll to find her question so that I could also be looking at it to make sure we hit all the various points on it. I think that having tenants responsible for repairs under X dollar value is silly. I’m just gonna come out. Is
Josh Ungaro (00:20:32):
That common? Is that common in a lease? I feel like I’ve never, some, I’ve never seen any
Andrew Schultz (00:20:37):
In mind. I’m more like it because it takes some of the burden off of them. I e they think that the tenant is going to just go ahead and take care of little repairs as things pop up. What is more realistic is the tenant is gonna say, I’m not paying for that. This isn’t my house and ignore it. And then when turnover time comes, you have stuff that is either more broken than it would’ve been if you had just gone and fixed it earlier, like before the situation got worse. Or you have situations where a tenant doesn’t report a leak under a kitchen sink, and now the cabinet is rotted out versus, okay, we had a puddle of water type of a situation. And I’ve seen these are like actual examples from our own business. So I don’t agree with having language in the lease that says that the tenants are responsible for the first however many dollars of any repair, because I think it discourages tenants from actually reporting repairs that are necessary.
Andrew Schultz (00:21:32):
And I think that it leads ultimately to a, a negative outcome. So in a situation like this, especially where you’re talking about a furnace, a hot water tank an appliance for the most part an air conditioning unit, something like that, all of those are building systems that should be maintained by the landlord, no questions asked short of a tenant flushing a bunch of concrete down the toilet or something like that, and causing obvious damage to the plumbing systems. The landlord needs to be covering the cost of repairs for major building systems that break air conditioner’s A good example. Going back to the toilet example, somebody flushes a bunch of concrete, obviously they should be paying for that. Somebody flushes a bunch of toilet paper and it gets caught on tree roots that are in the line between the house and the street.
Andrew Schultz (00:22:21):
That’s a landlord thing. That’s, that’s another one. Like a lot of times people use this no repairs under 300 landlords aren’t responsible for repairs under $300 because it catches a lot of stuff with like minor plumbing snake outs and stuff like that. Here’s the thing though, like you don’t know what the tenant’s doing. They might just sit and run a bunch of draino down through there and screw up your lines. You’re better off having a good quality plumber in your Rolodex that you know that you can call for situations like that, that is gonna go out and actually tell you what the problem is. Because if there’s a bunch of grease in the line, like then it’s probably gonna go back to the tenant. If it’s a bunch of roots in the line, that’s probably a property owner expense and it pays to know what the root cause was when you, when you get to the invoice, basically.
Josh Ungaro (00:23:11):
Right. All right, good. Let’s let’s do another form submission one here. This one is a question from Jane. Jane asked, I am also a member of Furnish Finder and my question is, a lot of landlords have started doing background checks, eviction notices, and credit checks on tenants. Is there any way to do just the credit in eviction history because nurses have background checks already done by their employers?
Andrew Schultz (00:23:45):
I don’t really care about somebody else’s background check. I would probably do not even probably, I run the full screening process every single time I’m placing a tenant. So it sounds like she’s dealing with like a, a midterm, like a, a medium term lease, like a three to six month type lease situation. Like a visiting nurse or something like that. Right. I would screen them just the same as you would screen every other tenant. There’s no reason not to go and do a credit and background check just because of somebody’s occupation. And I’ve heard that argument made before, oh, they’re an attorney. I’m not gonna run a credit and back or a background check on an attorney. No. Run the background check, run your complete process every single time.
Carlos Hennings (00:24:27):
Yeah. Hey, Carlos,
Andrew Schultz (00:24:30):
Is there a way to do just credit and eviction history?
Carlos Hennings (00:24:33):
Not on the REM prep side. That’s, that’s where the enterprise account would come into play with customization of product you know, configuration, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative> on the rent proof side, no. I had a question too. If, let me ask you this, Andrew. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, if you’re not running, let’s just say you have a rental and you’re not running a full background check because the person is a nurse mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but then you run a full background check on the next tenant that comes in and you deny them based on whatever you found. Right. Could that also dabble into that area of well, why, you know, discrimination where you are running one on one and one on and not on the other. Absolutely. You know, so just kind of keep, keep your bases all lined up here.
Andrew Schultz (00:25:14):
Everything fair housing fair housings have sticky wicket. It’s one of those things that once you’re involved in a fair housing situation, there’s no escape <laugh>. Yeah. Is is it’s going to be very, very costly. Like the, the fines alone, like a fair housing violation fine starts at $10,000 and goes up from there. If I remember it might be 2,500, but I think it’s 10,000 and goes up from there. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And that’s before you pay your attorney and you do all the, you know, the missing time in the office, missing time to deal with the, the court case or whatever the case may be. Fair housing’s a nasty, nasty beast. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And if they come in and they start investigating you, they’re going to look for irregularities in your screening process or in all of your processes, really. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So if you’re in a situation where you’re screening tenants, my recommendation the rent prep recommendation, I should say, is always have a set of fair housing compliant written screening criteria. Mm-Hmm. And follow that set of written screening criteria every single time that you screen a tenant. And if you follow it the same every single time, and if it is truly fair housing compliant, you’re eliminating 99% of your fair housing issues right then and there.
Carlos Hennings (00:26:21):
Andrew Schultz (00:26:22):
So I don’t think that it makes sense to not do the full boat on, on the tenant screening. Doesn’t matter to me if it’s a three month lease, a six month lease, a one year lease, a five year lease. I think that you still do the same, the same screening process every single time. I’m not involved in the short-term rental space at all. I should mention that I don’t really know much about how the short-term end works for, I don’t know if like Airbnb does a background check on anybody before they’re allowed to use the service or not. That would actually be something that would be interesting to find out in, in both directions really. Because you have people that are posting sometimes just a spare room in the house that they’re living in and you’re coming to stay in their house. I mean, I, there’s some risk there. I don’t know if Airbnb does any sort of due diligence on their end or not.
Josh Ungaro (00:27:15):
We I know a while back we almost had a, a deal go through with some, some woman that was running a traveling nurses organization. So very similar to what this question was talking about, right? Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> they were looking to screen short-term, short-term rental properties for these nurses that were just coming into town for, for two, three months and heading out. So Right. That’s why that question caught my eye, but I just, I just thought it was interesting. Yeah, the definitely,
Andrew Schultz (00:27:47):
Yeah. I mean, wanna I do the same thing every time. It’s just a good way to keep yourself outta hot water. Yeah,
Josh Ungaro (00:27:52):
Sure. For sure. Alright, let’s go to, let’s do this question from Paula. Paula asked, does, does landlord have to pay for fixing a low pressure sink faucet? Water comes out in a flow, it just is weak, otherwise the house has normal water pressure and everything concerning water flow is fine. Or is this the tenant’s responsibility if they want another faucet?
Andrew Schultz (00:28:23):
I would say this kind of goes back to that question we were talking about before, with the minimum $300 tenant responsible up to $300 for the repair. This is a building systems issue. It’s something that the, the landlord should be dealing with. And more than likely, if you have normal water pressure on your cold side and you have low water pressure on your hot side, chances are you have some sort of buildup in the line. I I, I bet you if I was to envision this house, it’s an older house, it has galvanized plumbing in it, and that galvanized plumbing is, is shut down like a clogged artery. It could be something as simple as just pulling the supply line off and clearing. Sometimes you’ll get a little piece of debris that gets stuck in the supply line or in the aerator or something like that.
Andrew Schultz (00:29:08):
If the cold side’s working, it’s not your aerator, it’s definitely on the, the line itself. So there might just be some debris that you can clear out of like the supply line or something along those lines. But more than likely, this is something where you may need to go back to go back to cut the pipe at some point, you know, further back to remove a bad section of galvanized or something like that. Whatever it is that’s causing the, the low water pressure. And I’m betting that it’s probably galvanized somewhere in there. We’ve also seen shutoff valves that are not all the way open or all the way closed will sometimes cause a low pressure issue. Either under the sink or further down. Basically my recommendation would be start at the faucet and trace the line all the way back to the hot water tank and see if you can figure out where the issue may be. And if you’re dealing with galvanized, you may be in a situation where you need to rip that galvanized out and replace it. But I would definitely say this is on the landlord. This is a, a building systems issue, not a, not a tenant broke the faucet issue kind of a thing.
Josh Ungaro (00:30:08):
Right. Oh, good. All right. Let’s move on to a Facebook question from Brooke. Brooke says, so I made a mistake looking for suggestions. Our lease states that the tenants are to pay the landlord me for solar bill each month. It has been many months and I just realized that they’re not including it in their rent. Now they are moving out and they owe me $3,780. Should I let it go take it out of the deposit or discuss it with them to see what they think is fair? So it looks like well number for the tens are able to Yeah. Or I,
Carlos Hennings (00:30:54):
I was, I was gonna say Andrew, number one, they should not be pulling that or even considering pulling that out of the security deposit. Correct.
Andrew Schultz (00:30:59):
Depends on the state. So in some states you are allowed to deduct for unpaid utilities from the deposit. That said like, I wish, I wish I had more information so I could better answer this because I’m curious if the tenant was just short paying every single month. Yeah. So like we have property management software and in a situation like this, we would go in and so you’ve got your monthly rental charge and then you would have, every month we would go in and enter a charge on the tenant’s ledger for however month they’re supposed to pay for their they’re electric on a monthly basis for the solar. So we would catch it like within a 30 day cycle, no longer than 30 days before we would know and probably within a week. ’cause We do our delinquencies right at the beginning of the month.
Josh Ungaro (00:31:46):
Well, that was my question right there. Well,
Andrew Schultz (00:31:49):
Josh Ungaro (00:31:49):
Wonder, she’s saying that it, yeah, it has been many months. Right. And I just realized that they’re not including it in the rent.
Andrew Schultz (00:31:56):
So I wonder if it was a flat rate they arranged for a flat rate at the onset of the lease or something like that and she was getting short paid. I guess the question is, how did you not notice that they weren’t paying it for several months? I don’t really know how to answer. Yeah,
Andrew Schultz (00:32:11):
I mean, 3,800 bucks is a lot of money for, for most people, $3,800 is not chump change. They’re gonna complain about that. Who is in the wrong here is still kind of vague because I don’t really know if it was something that was supposed to be billed as part of the lease, or maybe the tenants thought that the amount that they were paying was inclusive of the solar. If it was like a flat rate or something like that. There’s just not enough information there to, to really be able to answer the question. Well, that said, at this point, if you’re talking about several months of past due utility bills that were left unpaid and it was up to the landlord to make sure that that bill went out on a monthly basis, I think the landlord’s probably gonna wind up taking a loss. Maybe talk to an attorney in your state and see what they recommend. ’cause They’re gonna be able to sit down and go through your lease with you as well and really determine if you do have a leg to stand on. But I have a feeling that that one is going to turn into a very, very heated debate at the very, very least between the landlord and the tenant. If the landlord decides that they wanna try to charge that bill.
Josh Ungaro (00:33:12):
Yeah. Yeah. Alright, let’s do, let’s do this question from Ron. It’s a form submission question. What is your experience, good or bad, working with collection agencies for past due rent, current and past tenants with the means but not the will to pay? I’ve seen contracts where agents were agent has exclusive rights, but is motivated to settle for cents on the dollar. Mm-Hmm.
Andrew Schultz (00:33:39):
<Affirmative>. Yeah. I oops. Throw that one back there. We’ve used a couple different collections agencies in the past. Actually, I came from the collections world. I worked in collections before I got into real estate. And frankly I hated it. It’s a, it’s a bloodsucking soul-sucking job. If you ever, if you’re ever looking for employment, try to avoid collections at all costs. I wonder if Steve would say the same thing, because I know Steve came from a collect the collections world too. Oh, and Carlos as
Carlos Hennings (00:34:09):
Well. That’s right. I loved it. It was the best job I ever had.
Andrew Schultz (00:34:13):
Why did you love that job,
Carlos Hennings (00:34:14):
<Laugh>? I I
Andrew Schultz (00:34:15):
Have to ask, why did you love that job?
Carlos Hennings (00:34:18):
I, it was, it was all about the negotiations, I guess you could say. It’s like every call was either somebody who’s gonna win or lose it, just mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I don’t know, kind of gave you another notch if you got somebody to pay, but can I
Andrew Schultz (00:34:30):
Ask what you guys used to collect on?
Carlos Hennings (00:34:33):
Yeah. so we actually started out collecting on just medical debt and then it, it turned into past due like delinquencies mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So I, I have, I have experience in that. And again, our recovery rates were extremely low, but Yeah. If the if the landlord had gotten a judgment mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, obviously, you know, you’re collecting on a judgment at that point. Right. A lot of times it would take a good six to eight months before we would start seeing some money coming in if we put somebody on a, on a, like a a pay structure of some sort. Right. and if we still didn’t then, you know, the judgment would stick around until they decided to make a decent sized purchase. And then you would just get a phone call maybe two or three years later, Hey, I gotta get this cleared up. Yep. Then they, then they want to negotiate a lower price. And at that point, that’s where the mistake in my opinion you know, comes in with just wanting to get the money. At that point, the person with the judgment holds the cards and there shouldn’t be any negotiation because that person obviously has to get that taken off.
Andrew Schultz (00:35:40):
They have to clear it. You want to buy a house, you’re not doing it with a judgment on your, on your records. Exactly. Yeah. Exactly.
Carlos Hennings (00:35:45):
So, I mean, what I would do is I would definitely get the judgment against the individual. I would wait probably a good six to eight months before I would even consider putting it in the hands of a collect agency. Collect agency is just gonna, you know, start with letters mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, then they’re gonna commence phone calls. And then depending on what the terms are, we’ll determine whether or not they have full negotiation power. And sometimes they’ll say, this is how we do it. If you don’t like it, then we are not the company for you. Right. And, you know, and in those cases they understand that, you know, the landlord’s gonna be a little bit desperate and just say, I just, I need something mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and this is where again, they, they will start to settle on 20 cents on the dollars, you know? Yeah. So get the judgment, I won’t say pulled off and then send it over if you, if you can’t collect it in-house,
Andrew Schultz (00:36:28):
That’s probably the, the best possible solution. To be honest with you. I won’t say what agency we’ve used in the past, but I will say that they take 33% right off the top of everything they collect and they have the ability to negotiate down to 50% of the balance. So if I send them a balance for 5,000, or I’m sorry for for a thousand, they can negotiate that down to 500 and then I’m losing 33%
Carlos Hennings (00:36:55):
On top of that.
Andrew Schultz (00:36:56):
On top of that.
Carlos Hennings (00:36:57):
Andrew Schultz (00:36:59):
Collections agencies are not always working in your best interest, especially when the end of the month starts to roll around and people are trying to make goals and stuff like that. Like how many times did you guys make decisions and say, okay, well from the 20th of the month through the end of the month, everything collected on this client gets a, you know counts double towards your goal or whatever. And it’s all just a numbers game, like you said. ’cause At the end of the day, the collections agency knows, okay, if we’re collecting on this paper, even if we give a little bit more to the collectors to try to bump up the, the collection rate, the now that we’re collecting, it’s, it’s gonna make sense for them. They’re not gonna do it if it doesn’t make sense. So, sure.
Carlos Hennings (00:37:41):
Andrew Schultz (00:37:41):
I think that’s the route to go. I think get the, so in New York state, you have to get, let’s assume it’s an eviction mm-hmm. <Affirmative> you have to go through and get your eviction first, and it’s pretty much impossible to get a money judgment at the same time as your eviction in New York State. So then you’re gonna have to turn around and go back after that tenant in either small claims court or civil court, depending on how much they owe you. And then the judgment is good for 10 years and I think it can be renewed for another 10 years after that. Yep. Are judgment lien searches included in the, the default searches for rent prep?
Carlos Hennings (00:38:17):
Yeah. so with the, with the base report, you’re getting the bankruptcies, then you’re getting the judgments and lien search along with the evict, the nationwide eviction search. So that’s standard, that’s the $21 package. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And then from there you have the option to, you know, do your add-ons like your income verification, criminal and so on.
Andrew Schultz (00:38:32):
Gotcha. Okay. Yep. Yeah. So I think that, I think you hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what I would do. I would basically go through the eviction process. If you have to go through the small claims court process, get your judgment mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that judgment’s gonna be good. Eventually somebody’s gonna wanna do something. And it’s not every tenant. I mean, you kind of have to pick and choose, I think the, the people you go the full boat with because it does cost money to go to court.
Carlos Hennings (00:38:56):
Andrew Schultz (00:38:56):
If you, if you think that that tenant is eventually going to want to buy a house, a car, a boat, you know, that’s the kind of stuff that they’re eventually gonna get tripped up when they try to make a life move because they have this, this old rental balance hanging on from way back in the day mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. So I think that’s the route to go. I don’t even know if I would recommend sending it to collections at the end of the day. Like, it might just be something that’s worth holding onto. Unless you can find an agency that has really, really, especially good terms or something like that, which as a smaller landlord, you’re probably not gonna find ’cause they want volume.
Carlos Hennings (00:39:32):
Andrew Schultz (00:39:33):
Yeah. I don’t think that I don’t think collections is the route to go most of the time.
Carlos Hennings (00:39:36):
I, I would definitely stay away from it. It’s, it’s definitely not worth it from, from my experience. There are like attorneys out there that’ll handle judgements, you know, exclusively, but they’re not making phone calls. They are just sending a letter, you know, of intent out and then right. You know, something else with their letterhead and hoping that, you know, the person gets, you know, a little nervous and says, oh, now they got the attorneys involved. But that’s as far as that’s gonna go. And I’ve dealt with a lot of attorneys that, that handle just judgments and they’ll charge an upwards of 50% commission and whatever comes in. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, they’re taking half right out the gates. They,
Andrew Schultz (00:40:10):
And probably plus expenses on top of that, every time they send a letter, they’re probably charging you for the letter, the envelope, the stamp, the time that the paralegal took to, to fill in the form and everything else.
Carlos Hennings (00:40:19):
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.
Josh Ungaro (00:40:22):
All right, let’s move on. Question from Sandy. Andy, my tenant sneaked a dog in when lease states no dogs, apartment, smells of urine. She always pays rent on time. Her lease is up in two months. She collects disability. So don’t think eviction would be in my favor. What do I do?
Andrew Schultz (00:40:45):
So just because someone’s collecting disability does not mean that you cannot evict them. Yeah. People seem to think that just because someone’s collecting social security or just because they’re collecting disability they’re untouchable and that’s, that’s not the case. They may get some additional assistance from Department of Social Services or from a Section eight agency or from any of the other agencies that assist when times get tough. They may actually be in a better position to find the money to deal with the situation. But again, rent payment’s not the issue here. It’s, it’s more just sneaking the animal in. So this is a thing where I would issue out the letter, the lease violation letter. What we always try to do is get a picture of the dog or the animal, like in the unit. My favorite is when we find cats at apartments that are sitting in windows. Like you can’t really, can’t really get much. <Laugh> can’t really get much more straightforward than that <laugh>. But
Josh Ungaro (00:41:43):
For, do you remember, do you remember that? I think it was a couple AMAs ago. The the lease said no animals, they asked the landlord if they could bring their dog over to hang out in the front yard. Right. And then it turns out they were building a, a kennel off the side of the garage for the dog. Oh yeah. For the dog to be in and had that’s
Andrew Schultz (00:42:03):
Temporary kennel. They were gonna build a permanent one <laugh>
Josh Ungaro (00:42:05):
After the, they, they told the, yeah, they told the repairman that they were building a, or one of, I think it was a repairman that came to the house. They told ’em they were, oh no, they’re building a temporary or a, a permanent one. Yeah,
Andrew Schultz (00:42:17):
Yeah, yeah. That’s, yeah. Absolutely. This is a situation where you issue a lease violation and just start working down through that process. If the tenant doesn’t move the animal out, then you just go forward with starting the eviction process.
Josh Ungaro (00:42:30):
It also looks like, but
Andrew Schultz (00:42:31):
It is what, it’s,
Josh Ungaro (00:42:32):
It looks like she’s got some flexibility here because her lease is up in two months. Looks like the lease is up in two months. So it looks like she’s torn as Yeah, she, it looks like she’s torn to the fact that she likes that the rent payments come in in time. But that’s like is it really worth it that I’ve got, got an animal?
Andrew Schultz (00:42:51):
I know you’re not a little secret. It’s not, ’cause she already says that the apartment smells of urine, which tells me that there’s property damage being done. Right. So at that point, I would issue the lease violation notice to try to get the tenant to remove the dog from the unit altogether. And if they don’t do that, I don’t know, two months left in the lease, maybe just issue a termination of tenancy notice and tell the tenant, listen, you’re not abiding by the terms of your lease. You’ve gotta move out after your lease term. But I would be, don’t just do it verbally. Do whatever you need to do in your state to make sure that the, the termination of tenancy is legitimate. Have it served or send it certified or whatever it is that you need to do in your state to make sure that it’s legit. So if the tenant doesn’t move at the end of their lease term you have the ability to start that eviction process.
Josh Ungaro (00:43:42):
All right. Anything, Carlos, are you good?
Carlos Hennings (00:43:47):
I’m good. I’m a cat guy.
Josh Ungaro (00:43:49):
<Laugh> I think cats might be worse for the property,
Andrew Schultz (00:43:56):
Josh Ungaro (00:43:57):
I don’t know. What do you think, Andrew? We just had,
Andrew Schultz (00:43:59):
You’re, you’re asking me at the exact wrong time. We, we literally have a house that we just dubbed flea house. Long-Term tenant just vacated this unit. And we knew that like the, the client bought the property knowing that it was going to be a full rehab after this tenant moved out. So we’ve just been kinda letting this tenant live their best life in this house. And it was finally time for her to move out. So the tenant moved out and I walked or went over to the property to just do a quick walkthrough check to see how much damage there was, check to see how much debris was left behind that we were gonna have to haul out things of that nature. And we knew she had pets. We’re strictly no pets. For the most part. We allow service animals, but we don’t want pets.
Andrew Schultz (00:44:41):
And this is the exact reason. Yeah. People don’t take care of their animals. Like I have a dog. I’ve had dogs basically my entire adult life, and my dogs are well managed, well taken care of, but for whatever reason, it seems like most people don’t take care of their animals properly. And then you wind up with a situation like what I had, where I walked out of the property after being inside this house for maybe 10 minutes, maybe 10 minutes. I walked out of the house and I felt something on my leg. I walked to my car to grab a key box to throw on the front door, and I looked down at my leg and it looked somebody, it looked like somebody had taken a pepper shaker to my legs. I had so many fleas on me on my shoes, on my socks, man.
Andrew Schultz (00:45:25):
And like I, I’ve been doing property management long enough that I realized that carrying a change of clothing with you is vital to this job. I always have a full change of clothes with me, but I did not have shoes. <Laugh>. Oh God. I had to call my office. I had to call my office and be like, can somebody bring me a of shoes so that I could, because I, I wasn’t getting in my car like that. Yeah. So everything went into garbage bags. The socks and the towels that I used to wipe myself off went right in the garbage, the shoes went in the dryer. Did, were you doing all of all of this in the parking lot? I was on, I was on a street. I was literally standing on a side street in Buffalo, sitting on the back of my car with no shoes, no socks on, saying many, many, many nasty things.
Andrew Schultz (00:46:07):
<Laugh> while, while trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. But yeah, I, I literally, like, I stripped off my shoes and socks as soon as I realized it and took a towel and tried to like, wipe as many of the fleas off of me as I could. But like literally all of it went, like the, the socks and the towels went right in the garbage. Yeah. The shoes I just bought three weeks ago, if I hadn’t just bought ’em, I probably would’ve just pitched those out. Those ended up coming those ended up going into the dryer on ultra hot mode for like two hours just to kill anything. I kind of took the bedbug approach to it. Sure. Get ’em hot so that they so that they die off if they’re on, on the shoes at all. So yeah, it’s tough know, it’s, it’s tough.
Andrew Schultz (00:46:50):
Like that’s a nasty situation that property owner. So we literally are, we’re, so we’re writing up the quoting on that right now to do the trash out and stuff like that. And I told the property owner, I’m like, listen, just from a health and safety standpoint, we have to treat this like a hazmat situation. We’re gonna send guys in with Tyvek suits, with booties on and set off flea bombs and wait for a couple days and then go in and do the trash out. And then probably treat again just using the over-the-counter stuff at Home Depot. And then before we start really getting in and doing the actual rehab, we’re probably gonna have to have a professional come in and treat with actual spray chemicals and stuff like that. Wow. It’s that bad. So, wow. It, they get it. They understand. They bought the property knowing that they were gonna have quite a bit of work to do <laugh>, but yeah, that was definitely not, not something that we’d anticipated. <Laugh>.
Josh Ungaro (00:47:44):
Yeah. My so my last apartment I lived in, we had, my roommate had a cat and the cat’s litter box was down kind of like a mudroom hallway, so nobody ever really went down there. It would get cleaned every once in a while. It was kind of hidden. And there was a little alcove where we had, where had the box sitting mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And after a while we kept cleaning the litter box. Everything. We, the smell was still coming. We could not figure out where the smell was coming from. And it smelled like the cat had peed somewhere. Right. Come to find out, the cat must have gotten intrigued with something slightly to the right of it and had been peeing on the floor in the corner. So not only, and these were hardwood floors. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, it had been peeing on these hardwood floors completely ruined. And this was an apartment completely ruined the hardwood floors. And the angle that the cat was peeing up was also up the drywall. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So it had hit the corner, destroyed the, destroyed the flooring right there, destroyed the, the wall and left like a maybe the worst smell I’ve ever, I’ve lived, lived in a property with. Yeah. So luckily one of my roommates is a, is a flooring guy, but Oh, nice.
Andrew Schultz (00:48:59):
That worked out
Josh Ungaro (00:49:00):
It, so it did work out, and they made a deal with the landlord to, to repair the floors. But like, man, was it bad? And I, we had no idea where it was coming from.
Andrew Schultz (00:49:09):
Was it a male cat or a female cat? Do you remember?
Josh Ungaro (00:49:11):
It was, it was a male cat and he had not been he had not been neutered, neutered, what would it be? Neutered. Yeah. He had not been fixed. So, and my buddy who was the primary caretaker for it was a corrections officer, so he would go and out in Geneva. So it was like four hour drive. Like everyone, you know, he’d load the food up for the cat, drive out to his job work three days on comeback, so mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, the supervision, the supervision wasn’t fully there. Right. But, and the, and the cat kind of, you know, kind of had a little bit of free reign.
Andrew Schultz (00:49:50):
Yeah, that makes sense. That’s
Josh Ungaro (00:49:53):
But cat, cat, you can destroy your floor. Cat urine.
Andrew Schultz (00:49:55):
Cat urine is incredibly caustic. Like, people don’t understand that cat urine is so caustic, like it ruins floors. It’ll, it’ll ruin metal. Like it’ll ruin the finish on metal if it’s left to sit there long enough. So, yeah. And it’s incredibly hard to get rid of the smell, especially cat urine. Like, you basically have to clean, clean, clean, clean, clean. There’s a company locally here that we’ve used that does I don’t know what the chemical is, but they are like a, like a fire and storm resto company. So like, they have this product that will literally, I’ve watched it happen. It literally like bubbles the urine out of the surface that it’s on. So like if you spray it, we did a concrete floor in a basement and they came in and sprayed and it literally bubbled the urea out of the floor. And that was how we finally got the smell out of this place. Wow. wow. It was a lot of work though. It was a challenge to get rid of the smell there.
Josh Ungaro (00:50:48):
Hmm. Yeah. All right. Looks like we we got about eight minutes left, so I’ll try to rip through some of these. I got a quick one right here from now I, no, no, I got it. Question from bird. Hello. What qualifications should new landlords look for in hiring a property management company? So, I guess, Andrew, just what, what really stands out? What, what are the main point parts of a, of a management company that landlords should be looking for?
Andrew Schultz (00:51:20):
So, I actually have a document called the 10 Questions You Have to Hire, hire Have to Ask before Hiring a property manager. It’s free. You can find it at what’s drew up to.com. You just enter your email address and they email it over to you. Go take a look at that document because that’s gonna give you a really good basis for interviewing property managers so that you don’t wind up with somebody that’s unlicensed or unethical or whatever. I mean, there are so many bad property management companies out there. Yeah, it’s, you really have to make sure that you’re getting yourself a good one. As far as finding a good property management company, I would say start with the interview process. Don’t just select the first one that you talk to. Don’t pay, don’t pick your property management company based solely on their fee structure, because the cheapest property manager is probably the property manager that’s also paying the least amount of attention to your property, simply because that’s how labor works.
Andrew Schultz (00:52:15):
The less money coming through the doors, the less time they have to spend on any individual unit in a given monthly cycle. Those would probably be the two biggest things that I would recommend. Read through the interview doc, and definitely don’t just base it on fee structure. Understand that different property managers operate in different ways. Some property managers have in-house maintenance, some property managers outsource everything and mark it up. Some property managers outsource everything and don’t mark it up. They just pass the invoice over or have the landlord pay it directly, or whatever the case may be. So there’s not really a universal answer to this question whereby I could just be like, oh, you want to make sure that they’re doing X, Y, and Z. Make sure they’re licensed. Make sure they’re insured. Those are both good starts. Most states require licensure for property management at this point.
Andrew Schultz (00:53:08):
Some don’t. But most do make sure that they’re insured. Get some client references, get some contractor references if they don’t have in-house maintenance. Ask the clients how they are about making sure that bills get paid on time and that the client gets their, their rent draw on time. Ask the contractors how are they about communication? How are they about paying their bills on time? ’cause Those are the two biggest things in contracting, communication and getting paid. Like if a contractor’s not getting paid, they’re not gonna work for that person for very long, so ask how long they’ve been there. If you get three clients referrals and they’ve all only been there 60 days, ask for somebody that’s been there for a little bit longer time. Same thing with the contractors. If you get three contractors and they all say that they’ve only been working with this property manager for a month, two months, like those are actual red flags at that point, I would say. But yeah. What’s drew up to.com? Download the interview guide. That’ll save you a lot of headache, a lot, a lot of headache in the long run.
Josh Ungaro (00:54:12):
Good. Okay. Another quick one here. What do you all think of garbage disposals in a rental house? Are they more trouble than they’re worth?
Andrew Schultz (00:54:24):
Who asked that one?
Josh Ungaro (00:54:26):
That one was from Jared. It is a Facebook question.
Andrew Schultz (00:54:32):
Andrew Schultz (00:54:34):
I hate ’em. From a property management standpoint, I don’t have one in my own house. I don’t like them in managed properties because they’re constantly jamming. Tenants don’t understand how to use the Allen wrench to try to unjam ’em. I hate garbage disposals. I don’t think that they add any value to a property. I, this is one of those questions I’ve seen this asked in a couple different ways on the rent prep forums, and this is one of those questions that’s very divisive. You either love ’em or you hate ’em. And I’m in the I hate ’em camp.
Josh Ungaro (00:55:09):
Carlos Hennings (00:55:10):
I almost, I, I feel like the, you know, the more you, the more mechanics you have in, in a rental property, the more obviously you’re responsible for, the more issues that you eventually are gonna be asking for, you know, so mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for up to me, no more electricity, either. You guys have candles, <laugh>
Josh Ungaro (00:55:24):
Andrew Schultz (00:55:24):
Well now you’re creating a fire hazard. <Laugh>.
Carlos Hennings (00:55:27):
Josh Ungaro (00:55:28):
<Laugh>. Are there more clogged drains and stuff like that though? If you’re, if you’re not gonna put one in and are you gonna be dealing with that? No. That issue,
Andrew Schultz (00:55:37):
I would say there’s, I would say there’s fewer clogged drains from not having a garbage disposal. I feel like the garbage disposals have a tendency to jam up and cause more issues than not having a garbage disposal.
Josh Ungaro (00:55:47):
Yeah. I don’t know if, I was just thinking if, if tenants are just forcing, forcing food down them regardless and just stuff it down, we don’t something down the drain pipe, like
Andrew Schultz (00:55:56):
We’ll get little, like food bits and stuff, but generally it’s a stop drain and it’s at the kitchen. It’s more often than not gonna be somebody dumped grease or something like that accidentally versus somebody poured an entire can of soup down the drain and all of the noodles and chicken are stuck in the trap or something like that.
Josh Ungaro (00:56:14):
Andrew Schultz (00:56:15):
No, I hate garbage disposals though, for that exact reason. Like, I feel like garbage disposals actually create more create more clogs than they actually deal with.
Carlos Hennings (00:56:23):
True. It, I, I like what you said about it doesn’t bring any more value to the property, and that, that, that makes a lot of sense. You know, especially if you’re re, you know, renovating or anything like that, or you’re trying to do a turn here and say, okay, well, how can I make this a little bit more appealing to the market? I agree with you.
Josh Ungaro (00:56:41):
Hundred percent. Not signing a, signing a lease because there’s a garbage disposal. Right, right. Right.
Carlos Hennings (00:56:48):
This is the winner. Is it
Andrew Schultz (00:56:51):
$50 a month because you have a garbage disposal? I’ve never had a tenant approach me after a move in and, and shake my hand and be like, I chose this place because of the garbage disposal <laugh>.
Josh Ungaro (00:57:00):
I don’t know. Next time I, next time I market my property for rent, I’m, I’m putting that in as the headline, new gar, new garbage disposal <laugh>. Oh, that’s awesome. All right.
Andrew Schultz (00:57:15):
You mentioned something that’s worth reiterating too. You said the more, the more stuff that’s there, the more stuff there is to break. Yeah. And when you’re talking about, like, garbage disposals are a good example of that, but I want to talk about refrigerators for a second and just say that like, if you have an ice maker in a refrigerator like if a tenant rents a refrigerator or an apartment that has a freezer with an ice maker in it, that freezer and that ice maker both need to work. Hmm. Like, it’s not, I hate it when landlords are like, oh, the ice maker didn’t work when you moved in here, so why would you expect it to work now? No supply appliances that work the way that they’re supposed to, every aspect of the appliance, right. Like, you’re not gonna rent a stove out where three of the four burners don’t work like
Carlos Hennings (00:57:57):
Andrew Schultz (00:57:57):
Keep your appliances maintained and go with basic appliances. Like we have probably 50 of the Frigidaire 18 cubic foot refrigerators out in the field in different units and stuff like that. We go through a lot of ’em. Like, we buy probably 10 or those things a year. I have one in the storage unit right next to me right now, still brand new in the, in the styrofoam, because we use ’em that frequently. It’s a great basic refrigerator. You can get it in white, you can get it in stainless, you can get it in black. It doesn’t have an ice maker. You can add one if you want, but it doesn’t come with it by default. It’s, it’s a very basic fridge, and it’s big enough for a family of two, three, maybe four might be stretching it. Yeah, it’s a very bare bones basic fridge.
Andrew Schultz (00:58:42):
They’re not terribly expensive and there’s nothing to break on it. If it breaks, you’re basically replacing the entire fridge because it’s the compressor that died. But there’s not an ice maker or like think of just in an ice maker assembly, and people don’t really think about this. There’s like, just in the door, you have the, the flapper that actual actuates the switch. You have the switch, you have the thing that rotates the ice to spin it down. You have the buttons on the front. There’s so many things that can break, eliminate those failure points. And then
Josh Ungaro (00:59:12):
Don’t worry, I just
Andrew Schultz (00:59:13):
Experience way better.
Josh Ungaro (00:59:15):
I just had one break four, five months ago. Luckily it was a, a fridge that was within one year. So I still had the manufacturer warranty, but yeah, it, it it broke pretty good. And they, they didn’t have any clue how to fix it, so they had to put a whole new, whole new, basically whole new icemaker in there. Mm-Hmm.
Andrew Schultz (00:59:34):
<Affirmative>. I’m gonna give a property management pro tip here at the end of the at the end of the show too. Don’t buy Samsung and LG appliances. <Laugh>.
Josh Ungaro (00:59:43):
Andrew Schultz (00:59:45):
Buy, buy your appliances from appliance manufacturers and buy your electronics and cell phones from people that make electronics and cell phones. Like, and I’ll just leave it at that. Like, buy your refrigerator from somebody that makes fridges. Not somebody that’s primary job is cell phones and electronics.
Josh Ungaro (01:00:00):
I don’t know. I think I, I think I actually read an article that said Samsung is producing more, they’re starting to cut down on how much, how many smartphones they’re producing, and they’re producing more appliances. So they’re shifting into that. That’s shift. They’re shifting into that, that market. So,
Andrew Schultz (01:00:16):
So I was real, real quick story to wrap up the a m a here. I was staying out in Cleveland. We had an Airbnb in Cleveland. We were out there for a weekend and had a Samsung refrigerator, and I fell asleep on the couch in the living room, open concept house, you could see from the living room right into the dining room and kitchen and all that. Like two o’clock in the morning, the Samsung refrigerator, it has like a tablet screen on the front of it, like a full-size tablet screen on the front of it for whatever reason, starts making noise and lights up and everything else. I almost lost it. It woke me up at two o’clock in the morning. I thought somebody was in this Airbnb. I was like disoriented. Like I was tired. I didn’t know what was going on. So I will never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever buy a Samsung refrigerator for that reason alone. But
Josh Ungaro (01:01:02):
Oh my God.
Andrew Schultz (01:01:03):
<Laugh>, I hope that they don’t make a big push into the appliance market because they’re not good. They’re really not.
Josh Ungaro (01:01:08):
Yeah. Well, alright. What do we got? We got 2 0 2.
Andrew Schultz (01:01:14):
Josh Ungaro (01:01:15):
Eastern. All right. Well, I think we, we got through a lot more questions than I had anticipated us getting through. So I think a good, good job there. And thanks for, thanks to Carlos for, for hopping on and helping. Yeah. Thanks Carlos. Helping us out there a little bit.
Carlos Hennings (01:01:30):
No, I, I appreciate the invite. You know, and again, if there’s ever any questions, you know, you’re, you’re a rent prep client and you have a question regarding a report or you’re, you know, you’re unclear or, or you want a little bit of advice, you know, that’s what we’re here for. You know, give us a call, talk to one of the screeners get a little bit of insight, you know feel comfortable about what you’re doing and, and leave the guesswork, you know, out of it as much as you can.
Andrew Schultz (01:01:53):
And don’t be afraid to call rent prep. And they pick up the phone every time. I guarantee it. I call all the time. I call rent prep’s offices. Probably
Carlos Hennings (01:02:01):
Josh Ungaro (01:02:02):
He now <laugh>. He does. It’s Andrew.
Josh Ungaro (01:02:06):
It’s Andrew again.
Andrew Schultz (01:02:08):
Yeah. Probably once a week or so I will call and have either a question or, you know, Hey, this report came back blank. Can you guys look at it? Or, this doesn’t look quite right to me. Can you guys explain, or whatever mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And it’s nice because the screeners all know and understand the product that they are standing behind. Sure. And they do stand behind it, and it’s, it’s a nice, it’s a nice touch versus just an automated report that nobody’s gonna be able to be around to answer questions for you. Sure. You kinda left to your own devices.
Carlos Hennings (01:02:35):
Yeah. All the screeners do all the customer service. This is what they do, and it, and it comes out in the customer service, the product and everything. So.
Andrew Schultz (01:02:42):
Carlos Hennings (01:02:43):
Yeah. Definitely utilize the service.
Andrew Schultz (01:02:45):
Awesome. All right. I’ll go ahead and wrap things up here. Thank you guys so much for watching. This month’s episode of the a m A session. We do these every month usually towards the end of the month. I think it’s the, is it always the third Monday, Josh?
Josh Ungaro (01:02:58):
I think, I think that’s what we doing this year.
Andrew Schultz (01:03:00):
It has been doing. Yeah. We typically try to target third Monday of the month. And these go live on our Facebook group, which is facebook.com/groups/rent prep. That’s a rent prep for landlords Facebook group. If you’re not a member there already definitely hop on there. The people in the group get to ask questions as part of our a m a session, which is kind of nice. And you can see, I mean, Josh actually said we’re answering Facebook question or we’re answering from the, the contact form or whatever the question, wherever the question came from. So we do try to answer a variety of questions from different places as well. But the best
Josh Ungaro (01:03:33):
Andrew Schultz (01:03:33):
Josh Ungaro (01:03:34):
Ask is don’t, we don’t make any of them up. They, they’re all legit, real, real submissions
Andrew Schultz (01:03:39):
Be. Yeah. And honestly, that’s, it’s a good, it’s good. We should probably plug the Facebook group and say, if you’re not in there, get in there because we’re over, are we over 13,000 in that group yet?
Josh Ungaro (01:03:48):
Yes. I believe we are. I think we’re in mid, mid 13 thousands.
Andrew Schultz (01:03:53):
Yes. Let me see here. Let see. Yeah. 13. Oh, we’re almost to 14. We’re at 13. Nine,
Josh Ungaro (01:03:58):
Yeah. 13 nine. Yeah.
Andrew Schultz (01:03:59):
Time for time for a party almost.
Josh Ungaro (01:04:01):
Josh, are you doing,
Carlos Hennings (01:04:02):
Are you doing anything for the 14th, 14,000? How do you say this? Thousands,
Andrew Schultz (01:04:07):
Josh Ungaro (01:04:09):
We, we may have some, we may have some stuff planned. Just just stay tuned. Right? We will, we’ll keep anybody. So join, join that group and, and look out for some posts from me. Mm-Hmm.
Carlos Hennings (01:04:22):
Andrew Schultz (01:04:22):
And the group is great because there’s, well, almost 13,000 landlords in it at this point. So if you have a situation you haven’t encountered before or you’re just not sure, it’s a great place to ask because even if your question doesn’t get picked up and answered on the a m a session, you’re still getting the benefit of the knowledge of all of those landlords all over the country who’ve experienced a million different things differently than you have. And they can provide a little bit of insight in that capacity. So it’s pretty cool. Facebook.Com/Groups/Rent prep. What’s drew up to.com if you’re interested in the 10 questions you have to ask before hiring a property manager? Josh, any last words?
Josh Ungaro (01:05:01):
No, I can’t believe it’s almost fall <laugh> know, right. We’re, we’ve blown through the summer. The whole
Andrew Schultz (01:05:07):
Summer’s gone already,
Josh Ungaro (01:05:08):
Especially for us in Buffalo. We are, we are closing back in on the, on the colder weather,
Andrew Schultz (01:05:15):
But football’s coming and that’s what matters. Yes. Carlos, any any final words?
Carlos Hennings (01:05:20):
Just, you know, if you haven’t done so already, take a look at Theca verification report. It’s a great tool. It, it answers a lot of, a lot of questions out there. So again, it’s at a great price and it is available to all rent prep clients. Awesome.
Andrew Schultz (01:05:34):
All right. Thank you guys so much for joining me. We’re gonna go ahead and end it off there, and we will talk to everyone next month.